As the lights began to flicker, audience members anxiously filled Ventura High School’s auditorium, waiting for the second show of the second weekend of “Footloose” to commence.
With both direction and choreography from Stefoni Rossiter, and vocal direction by Heidi House, the cast and crew gave a spectacular performance, bringing song, dance and passion to the stage.
Most famous as a classic film, “Footloose” shares the story of Ren McCormick, a boy from Chicago who moves to the small, boring town of Bomont. Looking for some fun, he tries to convince the senior class to dance and have a good time. That’s when Ren discovers that Bomont has a dark backstory: many years ago, on the way home from a party, four kids died in a terrible car accident.
The leader of the town, Reverend Shaw Moore, decides to ban any activities that may increase the likelihood of an incident as horrific as this from ever happening again, such as dance. Ren and his friends Ariel, Rusty and Willard prove to the town that there can be fun without heartbreak through singing, romance and, of course, dancing.
Daniel Brackett ‘18 plays the lead role of Ren. He has appeared in multiple performances for Ventura High School, including the recent musical “Little Women.” Through voice training with Linda Ottsen and dance practice with Shane Tice, he put on a showstopping performance. Because of his dedication and hard work, he was easily able to charm the audience and have them tapping their toes to the rhythm of the music.
Sarah Mehrnia ‘17 played the female lead of Ariel Moore. Ariel is the Reverend’s daughter, and is constantly finding her way to trouble. Mehrnia’s strong voice wows the audience through familiar songs, such as “I Need a Hero.” Mehrnia is also experienced in Ventura High School’s performances, having played the lead role of Gabriella in the school’s production of “High School Musical.”
Rusty and Willard, played by Riley Conrad ‘18 and Louis Santia ‘19, both befriend Ren and Ariel, providing comedy and adding an element of innocent romance to the production. Both Conrad and Santia did a spectacular job of committing to their characters, captivating the audience and making them laugh throughout the entire performance.
Sophie Rocha ‘20 also wowed the audience with her powerful vocals and excellent performance as Vi Moore, the Reverend’s wife. Despite many people dreading it, Rocha’s favorite part was the rehearsals. “I loved coming here and working with all these people, it was just an amazing experience.” When it came to working with many upperclassmen, she admits it was nerve-wracking to start. “At first it was intimidating,but once we got into it, they turned out to be super nice and super caring.”
Ventura High School’s final performance of “Footloose” was March 26, and the Drama Department once again did a spectacular job of bringing the classic story to the stage.